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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999


Catastrophe Claims

Item #d99apr46

A news release from the Insurance Services Office ( pointed out that U.S. insurers paid catastrophe ($25 million or more in insured property losses to a significant number of policyholders) claims totaling an estimated $1.75 billion for property damage from four January events, making this the third-costliest January since 1949 when modern catastrophe-loss record keeping began. These January catastrophe losses exceed 1998’s entire first-quarter catastrophe losses by $750 million. Nearly 800,000 claims resulted from severe weather and winter storms in the eastern half of the United States, including an outbreak of tornadoes in Arkansas, which posted the greatest catastrophe losses of any state at $250 million. Other states with large January losses included New York with $130 million, Pennsylvania with $115 million, New Jersey with $95 million, and Michigan with $90 million.

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